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Bullet

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Bullet last won the day on January 14 2011

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About Bullet

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    Crew Dawg
  1. Two mortgages on the SAME house (which I currently live in), because at the original purchase a single jumbo loan wasn't available to me.
  2. Another day, another heap of praise for Jon, Bri, and the rest of the team at Trident. Slightly unsual situation for me -- looking to refi a first and second mortgage consolidated into a single jumbo loan under the VA. House purchased in 2007 and FINALLY to the point where the house value was worth more than the outstanding notes. Jon fully understood my situation, and gave me mutliple options to consider, and got me a fantastic rate for a jumbo within days of the initial discussuion. I looked into the situation with several other lenders, and none came close to the rate Jon got me or the way he treated me -- most were half a percent higher or more, were barely familiar with the VA process, and treated you as if you were wasting their time. Not Jon! ALWAYS available to take a call or get back to me quickly when I had a question. Even called me a few weeks before the original Closing date to see if I could support SPEEDING UP the closing to an earlier date because he was concerned that some new rules for VA loans starting next month may affect my situation. I always felt he was looking at for me the way a squadron bro would. Bri and the rest of his team were on the spot and 4 steps ahead of the game on getting everything ready for Closing. The result? Closed on a refi within 30 days of when I originally contacted Jon, with a new consolidated jumbo loan that is saving me $1100 / month (yep, over $13K / year!) Couldn't be happier with the whole process I experienced using Jon and his team at Trident. Do yourself due diligence, and if looking for a lender check out at least a few places. But do yourself a favor as well and make sure Jon and Trident are one of those places. Pretty sure he'll beat any and all others you look into on price, service, and all around experience. And I'll give him the ultimate compliment -- when / if my own kids look into purchasing a home (they're all in the 20s, so it will be soon) I'll simply hand them Jon's phone number, because a Dad always look out for his kids....
  3. 'Murica! We don't care about winning World Cups, we just care about winning World Wars!
  4. Dude, Japan HAS selected and contracted to buy F-35s already. 42 of them (for now). As to being LESS capable than what is out there now? You're looking at the wrong things to measure it against.
  5. Pierre Sprey = Co-designer of the F-16. Laughable statement, and the blog owner loses all credibiltiy from the get-go making it. Sprey has long ago gone off the deep end on his own self worth, and has become his own biggest fan. Let's look at the other aircraft Sprey has railed against: - The F-15 (I guess having a 100:0 Kill ratio has done enough to validate how WRONG Sprey was when he was so against it from the early 70s on) - ANY F-16 beyond the Block 10 A-models. Radar? AMRAAMS? EW gear? HTS Pods? ALL wastes of fuel in Sprey's opinion. Like it has been said before, he wants BFM machines only. And lots of them to fight the Mig-15 hordes he still expects to be in the fight. - The F-22. Enough said. The man had one good idea at the right time (the need for a lightweight day BFM fighter to counter the AF leadership desire for a "strike-fighter only fleet"), and he's been living off that reputation ever since. Dude has lost it since....
  6. You mean the same folks that in the 90s were saying we'd be flying hypersonic fighters on the edge of space that used directed energy weapons by now? How'd that work out? Don't get me wrong. RPAs have done outstanding work, and will continue to grow in complexity and capability. But as many have pointed out, there remain a ton of obstacles to overcome before we're ready for Skynet to take over our battles for us. Predicting that we'll overcome all of them in the next 15 years? Ballsy move, Cotton....
  7. Good questions, and more appropriate than the questions on aerodynamic performance. First, when talking about cutting the buy, you need to understand the difference between Unit Recurring Flyaway costs (URF, the price for just the plane, spares, and engines during each production lot) and Acquisition Program Unit Cost (APUC, the cost for the plane same as URF, + development, MILCON, and all the infrastructure required to get the system mission ready). Cut the buy, and there will be a slight impact to URF (depending on the number you buy each lot). However, there is a SIGNIFICANT impact to APUC. The less you buy the higher the APUC cost. Let's use the F-22 as the prime example of this. All the development was complete when the powers that be decided to cut production at Lot 10. URF for Lot 10 and beyond was about $140M/copy. However, stopping production at Lot 10 at only 183 F-22s drove the APUC to nearly $400M each. It was perhaps the dumbest time to kill production in my opinion, as the URF was pretty reasonable (for a F-22), and the APUC was going down with each lot we bought. What does this mean for the F-35? Well, the SDD portion finishes in just a few more years, with the vast majority of the development costs already been sunk. Cancelling the program now would be foolish, but perhaps reducing the buy after a fe years of multi-rate production would allow us the benefit of getting more jets at prices just slightly higher than buying new F-15s or F-16s, but with more 5th gen capability and much better survivability. Honestly,the question you are ultimately asking is the key -- Can we afford the planned F-35 buy? Is there a better option, balancing capability against cost. Your fuel burn rate question == Have you seen the F-135 engine's exhaust? E-Normous! Needed the bigger engine to get you to acceptable levels of performance (the debate here seems to be "what IS acceptable for a stealth fighter?"). Fuel burn rate IS higher, but the range of a F-35 fully combat loaded is significantly greater that of a similarly loaded F-16 (exact percentage escapes me, but I think it's about 40% greater) Your concern on waiting to convert? Valid,and I would say to most to wait a couple of years. That being said, they ARE delivering in numbers now, and the program has been relatively stable for a couple of years.
  8. Nope, not connected with Lockmart or any of the other sub-contractors tied to the program. Not even part of the Program Office. I am however very familiar with the F-35 and the reasons why the AF needs it, and wanted to address the fallacies and misconceptions folks keep incorrectly stating on performance and capabilities, and get them to understand a few things on why the focus of their complaints are simply wrong. Sounds like your buds are frustrated with the limited syllabus and mission sets they are currently flying at Eglin in the current 1B configuration in their F-35s. Frankly, I would be as well, as the 1B jet has very limited combat capability and a lot of flight restrictions. Must be very frustrating to folks who want to go out a employ it like it was intended and fly like the combat aviators they are trained to be. They will be getting jets in the 2A configuration in a few months (and upgrading their current jets to that config as well) and start flying a 2A syllabus in January. MUCH more mission system capability in 2A. The Distributed Apeture System (DAS, not DAC) will be validated and in use (it works now, it's just not VALIDATED and certiified through developmental test as of today). The guys I talked to (and continue to talk to regularly) at Eglin must understand this a little better than your buds, but they are frustrated as well and want to see what the F-35 can do when all the systems are validated. The Helmet? Well, the Program Office does say that they got the almost all early technical challenges under control, and the Helmet will be ready when we go IOC in 2016, but I'll let the folks at the 31st and 422 be the judges of that through ops test validation. Speed? Well, frankly yes, the acceleration requirement was lowered. We added 6 seconds for the requirement to accelerate from .8M to 1.2M, about 10% lower. And yes, the sustained G rate was lowered as well, but not the instantaneous 9G requirement. But the folks down at ACC, the warfighters themselves and NOT LockMart or the Program Office, quickly came to the conclusion that even these lowered requirements had MINIMAL impact on the jet's operational utility and were not worth the cost to start over. Mostly a physics problem, as keeping RCS low tends impact aircraft performance. We could have fixed them, but the cost to redesign the aircraft was simply too high at this stage, and the higher priority is stealth. However, we won't be stuck in 3G turns in MIL as you state (which I assume was a humorous exaggeration on your point to make your point). See, that's the issue. We COULD put all these neat toys in a proven and current airframe. And they would make these jets AWESOME. Right up until the point where they were blown out of the sky. We're not spending ungodly amounts of money to build a fighter for today's fight, we're making a jet to fight tomorrow's (and for the next 50 years). And in a very short timeframe, no matter WHAT you put on our current fleet, they still won't be able to operate and survive in tomorrow's high-end threat environment. They simply don't have the inherent stealth in their design, and that is something you simply can't "slap on". We also need to buy new fighters as our legacy fleet is getting old fro being rode hard and put away wet for so many years, and their service life can only be extended so much. So, if you were making the decision, would you buy more of the old jets with better toys, and still be limited in where you can go with them? Or would you buy the new jet, which I admit will be 10-25% more expensive, but you can still do the mission anywhere? Remember, Congress and OSD said you can only have one or the other, because I'd rather have a mix of both. Hopefully, we can convince them of that.
  9. I take it you haven't been talking to the guys flying it already, who have very high praise for it. They would like to see the F-35 get all of the capes designed into it now, but they're only a few years away from that. When we go into full rate production on F-35 in about 5 years, each will cost about $80M fully combat loaded. Want similar capes in a Block 50 Viper? Well, you'll need to add an AESA radar, better EA/EP, fused sensors, fly around with 3 external bags of fuel to get similar range (which removes your EW pod), and add a SNIPER pod. And will be nearly the same in cost then. But it still won't be able to go where the F-35 goes because it won't have stealth, and all it's combat capability will be externally carried You know what I hate? "Boyd says" critiques. Were Boyd's observations and rules important in their day, and still have usefulness in today's air fight? Certainly. But the nature of aerial combat has changed since the days Boyd was around. Radars and other sensors are exponentially better so detection ranges are longer. Weapons are more reliable and lethal. SAM threats were much less capable. BFM; still important. But NOT the first priority for today's air fight which the "Boyd says" critics think it remains. In response to your "design specifications": - F-35A = 9 Gs, which is what we've been saying was the safe physiological limit for decades now. Want more Gs? Get rid of the pilot. And we ain't there yet in unmanned capability to be effective in the air fight yet, and won't be for a while. - Very low wing load design comes at the expense of RCS. Helps in BFM, sure, but see my point above. - Blame OSD and Congress for this one, as they said we could only have one new fighter development program at a time. Guess they never heard of McNamarra and the F-X. Would have been nice to not to have to compromise and meet everyone's needs in separate programs, but them's the breaks. F-35 still does a pretty good job at it, though. - Bubble canopy = RCS impact. However, there is the DAS on the F-35, which gives 360 degree visibility. Can you see through the aircraft in an A-10? - F-35 = 18K # of internal gas, nearly twice as much internally as a Viper. - Got me there. I'd prefer two engines as well.Oh well. Would have liked thrust vectoring as well, but the priority for F-35 was tactical fighter payload and range. Compromises in the name of cost. - 9G fighter combat loaded, with stealth. So that WAS answered in the F-35 design. - ACC's requirement (which is the warfighter's requirement) called for a larger caliber bullet. Would have been nice to have more of themn though. Again, oh well. - Internal and reprogrammable EA? F-35 has it, and better than any fighter out there. - A fighter with F-35's mission systems? So, you want an F-35, right?
  10. Concur that the whole "all the eggs in one basket" thing is not the best plan in the world. But the fact remains we couldn't afford more than one fighter program at the time. Options were limited not by need, but by fiscal reality. Just to add some more "perspective" on how the jet is doing, here are a few more words from the guys flying this jet down at Eglin: "From a pure flying perspective, the F-35 is comparable to flying the F-16. It is very responsive to in-flight maneuvering and is even easier to land with superior braking capability. The scalable portals on the Panoramic Cockpit Displays provide unprecedented situational awareness and flexibility. The RADAR (APG-81) has been very easy to use in both air-to-air and air-to-surface operations providing capabilities well beyond 4th Generation aircraft." Some highlights on recent progress in the program: "Despite what has been in the news lately, there are a tremendous amount of positive things going on with this 'young' weapons system. Another 6 USAF pilots completed their first sorties in the F-35A this week and there are currently 17 Pilots (UK,USMC,USAF) and 53 Maintainers (USAF,USMC) going through the academic program at Eglin. Eglin was approved this week from the JSF PEO to begin using classified courseware in the ATC and we will start teaching basic A/A and A/G capabilities for the first time starting next week. Students going through the current class will perform Tactical Intercept sorties using Radar and simulated A/A missiles as well as perform A/G missions using SAR Mapping and dropping simulated JDAM. The Electro Optical Targeting System is also expected to be cleared for use at Eglin in the very near future. From my experience so far, the long range detect capability and ability to maintain track on multiple Radar targets is unmatched - even at this stage in the program." As to the "concurrency" issue: it wasn't that LM and the Program Office sold everyone a bill of goods. OSD and the services were front and center in pushing for this concept, mostly becuase they needed to start replacing their aging legacy fighters quickly becuase they simply were getting too expensive to fly and maintain. Particularly for the Marines, whose Harriers and older model Hornets are quickly reach the end of their useful lives on the ramp. Concurrency was a decent plan when the fligth test portion of the development phase was relativley short (3 years, one year for each of the planned blocks of capability upgrades, a "crawl, walk, run" approach). In those 3 years, a very limited number were being purchased (less than 20). This allowed the services to train a small number of pilots for Ops Test and the first few IPs for the FTU (so we could start training Ops pilots when the number of jets we accepted rapidly increased. What the issue became was that the program and the services didn't MANAGE concurrency well when devleopment started extending in length. We shouldhave tied incrreasing production to results in development.
  11. Words from the Eglin pilots who were interviewed for the articles above or were included in DOT&E's report: "We mention 100 positive things, and add one comment that can be taken out of context negatively, and guess what they publish." Also, take a closer look at the author of the POGO article -- Wilson Wheeler. Hasn't been a fan of the program since its inception. Takes a LOT of the issues out of context, and worse yet he knows he is. GAO's annual report came out just a few days ago, and guess what their assessment is? The program is seeing improvement. Challenges still remain for sure (just like in any developmental program), but improving none the less.
  12. Well, she did get one thing right when she states: "We as a Nation have got to ask "what the Hell is going on?"". Something definitely is "going on" in this country, and it ain't "chemicals in the ground water". More like "our nation is getting dumber by the minute".
  13. Let me put on my "Nostradamus" hat and predict a headline from the Keflavick Times 5 years from: "Internet Use Down 98% in Iceland. Government Baffled as to Reason Why"
  14. Ok, stop. With this one paragraph, you've completely lost your argument. Seriously, do you think we would put a MAGTF in a location where air superiority hasn't been assured? Really? Having the ability to establish air superiority in their AOR was one of the main justifications for the Marines to want a new fast air platform to replace their older Hornets and Harriers. Also, the AF is their to provide the required JOINT support necessary to win the JOINT fight. Almost ALL of our capabilities ARE geared to supporting the guy on the ground (and the debate remains as to whether this is 100% of our mission, or just "mostly"). But we found out very early in the discovery of air power that ground commanders have a very poor understanding and support of these capabilities, something that was corrected when the civilian leadership concurred this was an issue and agreed to make us a separate service. But don't worry, the USMC has PME as well, so you'll eventually get a better understanding of this (through hours of pretty boring reading). Ultimately, the debate on the utility of the MAGTF is moot. It's a capability our civilian leadership likes to have an the Marines can justify, whether we think it remains useful in today's joint environment or not. And having that civilian support (especially in Congress) ensures the money continues to flow towards the DoN (which ultimately pays for that ability), who would simply find somewhere else to spend on if it was removed. No, the debate should be on whether the USMC really needed a LO platform to accomplish their MAGTF TACAIR mission sets. Or needs the other capabilities the F-35 brings to the warfighter. Back in the early 90s, the USMC said rather emphatically to this: "YES", it was the OSD civilian types who directed their program merge with the AF's F-16 replacement concept, which gave us JAST. I can argue either way for or against, but I also realize that the biggest delay to this program so far, and the biggest area that has caused compromise in capabilities, has been the need for a STOVL variant. Their inclusion of STOVL capabilities HAS hurt the program's performance so far. But it is too late to really do anything about it, honestly.
  15. Eloquently stated. But the Marines message is simply more blunt, and much stronger, especially when they keep stating it to Congress: "If we don't get XXXX, Marines die." Too bad we have spent the past decades as a service trying to come up with an identity and corporate message to match, rather than focusing on the obvious truth: "If the AF doesn't get XXXX, Marines will also die. So will a lot of the Army's soldiers."
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